Archive | RC44

Glamour Day on Grand Harbour

Posted on 25 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: RC44 Class] Today Malta laid on possibly the best ever beginning to a RC44 Championship Tour. The RC44 Valletta Cup kicked off on Malta’s Grand Harbour with a day of match racing within one of sailing’s most spectacular settings: The 500 year old Maltese capital of Valletta on one side and the city’s giant forts on the other.

Within the confines of the bustling natural harbour, racing started for the eleven RC44s at 11:30 local time, the wind fortunately blowing from the southeast enabling the race committee to set the weather mark deep within the harbour.

For the opening rounds there were 15 knots of wind, but over the course of the day the wind dropped. Despite a delay waiting for a giant cruise ship to dock, six flights were held before Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio stopped proceedings.

At the close of play four teams were left on four wins. St Petersburg Yacht Club Commodore Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team and Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, the only two teams to finish the day with just one loss, Bronenosec winning on countback with Team Nika second.

“We had a great day of sailing. There was good wind inside the harbour – it was beautiful,” said Prosikhin. “The day was very, very good – each race was a fight and tough to win. I lost one and won four which was a very good score considering the races were so close.”

Dean Barker has joined Team Nika as tactician. Martinez studio

Dean Barker has joined Team Nika as tactician. Martinez studio

This year Team Nika has as its tactician former Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker, who returns to the RC44 Class after a six year absence. While in the past many of the RC44s have had pros helms for the match racing that introduces every RC44 regatta, Prosikhin observed that today many of the RC44 owners steer. He has been doing so for the last year. “I love match racing – I really enjoying it. It is great fun.”

Vladimir Liubomirov helmed Bronenosec today. According to the team’s Italian tactician, Michele Ivaldi, Liubomirov does this to practice for the fleet racing that comprises the remainder of the regatta. “Today the wind conditions were really tricky, but we were improving our speed, communication and crew work and in the end it was a good day. Our goal was to come back on shore still with everyone being friends! So we achieved goal number one!”

Like Peninsula Petroleum, Bronenosec has made few crew changes going into this season and benefitted from four days of training here in Valletta prior to the start.

Also on four wins are Charisma of Monaco-based skipper Nico Poons and the Gibraltar team on John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum. Missing the first two races, Bassadone’s was deposited on board after the second flight. “It is always good to do even a few races of the match racing, to get rid of the cobwebs. Otherwise the tactician gets upset!” says Bassadone referring to his Italian second-in-command, Vasco Vascotto.

“All of our matches were very good,” Bassadone continued. “It was very shifty. When we were behind we had a bit of luck and sailed quite well. We overtook a lot of times but there was chopping and changing quite in bit in all of them.”

Bronenosec Sailing Team. Martinez Studio

Bronenosec Sailing Team. Martinez Studio

The boat-on-boat nature of match racing can make it an aggressive sport and, despite this being the first day of racing in the season, there was a spectacular bout between Team CEEREF and Artemis Racing Youth. This saw a pre-start collision in which Artemis Racing Youth was deemed to be in the wrong. Then a tacking duel immediately off the line ended when Team CEEREF came in on port, without rights, and unsuccessfully attempted to duck Artemis Racing Youth, stabbing her bow into the Swedish boat’s hull. Artemis Racing Youth continued and won the point but was docked three points for the two incidents, while Team CEEREF was penalised two.

“We had a bit of fun during our race with Artemis Racing Youth,” said Igor Lah. “Obviously that can happen on the water. We had some damage and had to stop, so we didn’t finish that race. We will fix the boat and be back ready to race tomorrow.”

Fleet racing sets sail tomorrow at 11:30 local time but on this occasion the courses will be set in open water, outside of Valletta’s magnificent harbour.

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Big breeze season opener at RC44 Valletta Cup

Posted on 24 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: RC44 Class] It seems that Mother Nature does not intend the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour to get off to a gentle start. Today near gale force southeasterlies were battering the coast of Malta, as the teams geared up for the opening regatta of 2015, the RC44 Valletta Cup. With the wind forecast to build to a full gale later, most teams chose to get their practice in this morning before returning to their berths at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, within Valletta Harbour, and battening down hatches.

The RC44′s first ever visit to Malta has come about through the initiative of local organisers Yachting Events. The RC44 Valletta Cup is supported by Malta Tourism Authority and Transport Malta with backing from Suez Capital.

While the names of the 11 teams competing in this year’s RC44 Championship are similar to previous years, there have been a significant number of crew changes. A difference that many expect will affect this year’s podium is the return of Slovenian skipper Igor Lah and his Team CEEREF. Lah stood down from the Class last year although he returned for the RC44 Sotogrande Cup, as guest helmsman on the Russian entry Bronenosec Sailing Team, which he steered to victory. Lah’s Team CEEREF won the RC44 World Championship in Lanzarote in 2013 and, alongside Torbjorn Tornqvist and Chris Bake, Lah is one of just three owners who have been involved with the RC44 since its inception in 2008.

Lah has only managed to hang on to two of his original 2013 team but has picked up several new crew, including Adrian Stead, Matteo Auguardo, Jon Gundersen and for this regatta Tim Powell, who have all previously sailed with the Mini Maxi World Championship winning Rán team.

“My new crew is very good, very experienced,” says Lah. “The competition will be tough, like it has been for a few years. It will be hard to get back, but I believe we will do a good job.”

Teams prepare for the RC44 Valletta Cup. Martinez Studio

Teams prepare for the RC44 Valletta Cup. Martinez Studio

The benchmark in the fleet remains Team Aqua who, under Chris Bake, last year claimed its fourth consecutive RC44 Championship win and as overall Tour leader is the holder of the ‘golden wheels’. However Bake is unable to compete in the first three regattas this season and has passed the helm over to Swede Richard Goransson, who comes from the Melges 32 and 20 classes where he campaigns Inga from Sweden.

“Sailing the 32 and this – it is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in my life,” admits Goransson. “But I enjoy it immensely. I like the one design concept, especially at this level. It is so cool to be able to do this with all these incredible sailors.” Coming from smaller boats, he adds that it is taking a while to get used to wheel steering again and tomorrow will be his first ever match race.

John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum starts this season as favourite, having briefly displaced Team Aqua from the top of the leaderboard during 2014 and being the only one of the frontrunners to have retained their same crew, including Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto.

An all-star cast is to be found on Artemis Racing Youth. This includes Beijing 2008 Laser gold medallist Paul Goodison and Sweden’s three time Olympic medallist Freddy Loof and Australian long term Olympic campaigner, Anthony Nossiter. Among their tasks is training up young up and coming Swedish sailors Andreas Axelsson, Nils Akervall, Marcus Anjemark and Gustav Petterson.

The format for racing this season remains the same as last with regattas kicking off with a day of match racing (the scoring for this rolls from regatta to regatta). Tomorrow the RC44 Valletta Cup will hold its match racing on the Maltese capital’s Grand Harbour, surrounded by its giant bastions. The remainder of the event comprises fleet racing on windward-leeward courses, but the weather may prove to be significant. According to RC44 Class Manager Bertrand Favre, a front is passing through on Friday while Saturday may prove to be ‘go karting day’.

At a press conference earlier today Favre expanded on why the RC44s are visiting Malta and how the island fits into the class ethos: “We go to some beautiful venues, some iconic venues and windy venues as part of the concept of the Class. But more important is that we are looking for support from the community who we want to get involved. Here we have the support from the community and that is important to us.”

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New faces and seasoned pros prepare for 2015 RC44 season start

Posted on 02 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: RC44 Class] With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour season-opener set to take place in Malta’s renowned capital of Valletta, the historic ‘City of Knights’, from 25-29 March.

The crew line up for the RC44 Valletta Cup reads like a who’s who of sailing greats and top international businessmen, guaranteeing that it will be a highly competitive fleet racing right in the heart of the Mediterranean. While the majority of teams have opted for strategic consistency, retaining the same crew as last year, a few key changes promises to mix things up.

Team Aqua remains the boat to beat, starting off 2015 as the defending Tour Champion for the fourth consecutive year. Chris Bake will be sharing the owner-driver role with Sweden’s Richard Goransson this season, while top match racer Cameron Appleton remains a permanent fixture as tactician.

The increasingly competitive fleet, however, is sure to challenge Team Aqua for event wins and Championship titles.

Following an extremely strong first year in the Class, Nico Poon’s Charisma will be vying for a podium position after finishing fourth in the 2014 Tour. American Olympic silver medallist Morgan Reeser will be joining the team as tactician, replacing Tom Slingsby whose focus is back on his America’s Cup programme with Oracle Team USA. Reeser said: “The RC44 class has a fantastic reputation as being incredibly challenging while also offering a friendly and welcoming environment. I can’t wait for the first event in Valletta and being part of the team onboard Charisma for the 2015 Tour.”

A consistent challenger at the top of the RC44 fleet since joining the Class in 2008, Team CEEREF are returning to the Tour after taking a break for the duration of the 2014 season. Owner Igor Lah had made a one-off guest appearance last year to take the helm of Bronenosec and win the fleet racing at the RC44 Sotogrande Cup. With a taste of victory, Lah and his team are looking to improve and will be pushing for the podium this season under the direction of new tactician, Britain’s Adrian Stead.

Stead commented: “I’m looking forward to joining Team CEEREF along with fellow RAN sailors, Matteo Auguardo and Jon Gunderson. As a team, we’ll be aiming for consistency and pushing to get as many top results as possible in this competitive fleet at the RC44 Valletta Cup.”

Having finished 2014 on a high by securing the RC44 Oman Cup with a race to spare, Team Nika is aiming to keep the momentum going by welcoming America’s Cup sailor Dean Barker onboard to call tactics in Valletta.

Current RC44 World Champions, Bronenosec Sailing Team are a strong, up and coming team owned by Vladimir Liubomirov, commodore of the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg. With Italian America’s Cup sailor Michele Ivaldi calling tactics by his side, Liubomirov and his team will be ones to watch to challenge Team Aqua’s Tour title.
Double Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup Team Manager Iain Percy will once again be leading Artemis Racing alongside owner Torbjorn Tornqvist. The team will be looking to improve on last year’s results as they embark on their second year of the Tour with the same crew.

As part of the Artemis Racing programme and America’s Cup team building process, Australian Olympic gold medallist Nathan Outteridge will be back onboard Artemis Youth Racing helping to encourage young Swedish sailors into professional racing and develop potential future America’s Cup sailors.

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team is a serious contender this season after really pulling together as a team in 2014 and finishing second overall in the Tour, a personal best since joining the Class in 2010. Having briefly taken the ‘golden wheels’ off Team Aqua at the RC44 Cascais Cup last season, owner John Bassadone will be pushing his team to reclaim the coveted prize.

Katusha, MAG Racing and Anywayanyday are relying on their experience within the Class and maintaining the same crew as a way of climbing the ranks. All three teams have the potential to mix it up at the front of the fleet and will be looking to steadily progress throughout the season.

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Nika wins in Oman and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 Tour title

Posted on 23 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source: RC44 Class] The 2014 RC44 Championship Tour has seen the 13-strong fleet compete in five events across three continents, with the finale played out this week on the Gulf of Oman. With no team able to discard the last event of the season, the podium positions were by no means secure as last day of racing got underway at the RC44 Oman Cup, in a sedate seven-knot breeze.

Going into the final day Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika, with tactician Terry Hutchinson calling the shots, sat at the top of the leader board having shown an unmatched level of consistency throughout the four days of fleet racing in Muscat. Defending Champions Team Aqua looked to have the overall Championship Tour wrapped up, but didn’t get off to the best of starts on the final day, being called over the line in the opening race, rounding the windward mark last.

Vladimir Prosikhin at the helm of Team Nikа.©

Vladimir Prosikhin at the helm of Team Nikа.©

Out in front Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec, rounded the windward mark first. The Russian team were trying to get back onto the podium for the overall Tour after a disappointing first three days of racing in Oman. Tactician Michele Ivaldi called a perfect race; Bronenosec extended their lead throughout to take their first win of the event. Fellow countrymen Synergy finished second followed by Peninsula Petroleum with the RC44 Oman Cup overall leaders, Team Nika finishing fourth. Team Aqua could only recover to ninth place.

With the breeze increasing, Peninsula Petroleum looked like they would lead round the windward mark in the second race of the day. They went for the tack underneath Charisma, thought better of it, instead ducking the leading trio Charisma, Artemis and Bronenosec. Nico Poon’s extended his lead throughout to take Charisma’s third win in Oman, and jump into second overall ahead of Team Aqua, who by their high standards was having a bad day, finishing fifth and falling to third overall.

Fleet racing in Oman ©

Fleet racing in Oman ©

Team Nika had already secured the RC44 Oman Cup with a race to spare, the fight for the remaining podium positions was now on. Four-point separated Charisma in second from Aqua and Artemis, both tied on 52 point going into the final race. Nico Poon’s team didn’t start well, 10th at the top mark, but recovering to sixth by the leeward gate. Team Aqua, with Cameron Appleton calling the shots, dug deep moving up to second by the finish, Artemis one place behind. Charisma’s seventh dropped them down to third overall.

Team Nika joined the RC44 Tour in 2011, and today owner driver Vladimir Prosikhin enjoyed his first victory in the class. “It was a long journey, I wanted it badly and finally we’ve done it, it feels great. Somehow we sailed really well, everyone on board, we had great starts and everything just worked really well. It was a very enjoyable week, perfect conditions only once did we drop below the middle line which was our goal for the regatta, it’s an amazing feeling.”

Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS18). ©

Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS18). ©

Terry Hutchinson joined Team Nika half way through the 2014 season and has helped turn around the fortunes of the team: “This is the first regatta Nika has ever won; it’s awesome to be part of that. Vladimir is a really good man we’ve got a great team. We were so close in Cascais, so we weren’t going to let that happen again, the more you do this sport the more you realise everything just needs to fall in to place. Good starts, fast upwind and good boat speed we were reliable all week.”

Team Aqua successfully defended their RC44 Championship title for another year, the fourth time the team have lifted the trophy since joining the class in 2007. They didn’t make it easy for themselves though, as owner Chris Bake explained. “We certainly like making it difficult for ourselves! It went down to the last race of the last regatta, it just goes to show how competitive the fleet is and what good sailors, we were fighting pretty hard to hold on. It feels really good to win the title in this class when it is so competitive.”

John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum had struggled for consistency during the first two days in Oman, but found their form for the final half of the regatta to finish sixth, enough to be runners up for the 2014 Championship Tour.

New boys Charisma, with Tom Slingsby calling the shots, had their eye on a podium position after joining the Tour this season at the second event in Cascais, but in the end Russia’s Bronenosec had an amazing day to take the final podium position for 2014. Team Nika will be looking to make sure their feet are cemented to the podium next year, after a strong second half of the season pulled them up to fifth overall.

With the 2014 sealed all eyes are on next year. The 2015 RC44 Championship Tour will start in Valletta, Malta, City of the Knights, before making its debut in Porto Cervo, then heading back to a couple of the classes old favourites; Marstrand, Sweden and Cascais, Portugal. The finale for the year will see the class back in the Caribbean for some winter sun at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda.

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Synergy crowned RC44 Match Race Champions in Oman

Posted on 20 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source:RC44 Class] The RC44 Oman Cup opened with the season’s final day of match racing. Defending champions Team Aqua held a slim one-point lead over Synergy Russian Sailing Team who were fighting for the trophy they last won in 2012. Vladimir Prosikhin’s Team Nika started the day in third, with Hugues Lepic just two-points adrift in fourth and keen to get the French flag onto the podium.

Racing was delayed before a light 5-7 knot north-easterly breeze filled in. Flat water made for easy boat handling conditions, the 30-degree shifts made the tactician’s life difficult amongst the 10 boats.

Although Synergy was one point behind Team Aqua heading into the final event, the Russian team had one outstanding match from Sweden to complete. As the rest of the team’s headed out to the race course, Ed Baird at the helm of Synergy sailed a clean race to take the point against Charisma, now the points were equal, heading into the final six flights of the season.

Chris Bake arrived in Oman just hours ahead of racing to take the helm of Team Aqua, the defending match race champions won their first match; their next opponent was Synergy. An unforced error by Team Aqua, saw the experienced team enter the starting area early, and were punished by the umpires with their first penalty of the day. A close match endured, but it was Synergy, with America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird at the wheel, who took the win. It was to be the decider.

Synergy, jointly owned by Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev, stayed unbeaten for the rest of the day and were crowned 2014 RC44 Match Race Champions; taking back the title they lost to Team Aqua in 2013. Baird gave credit to the hard work of the young Russian crew. “What a difficult day to finish the season on, it was light air shifty but the guys did a great job. We came from behind in a couple of races and the team really worked hard for it, they deserve it.

It’s been a fantastic season, having four boats that could win going into the final regatta is really exciting, it gives you a nice feeling at the end of the year to be in that position, but more importantly we were able to close the season on that feeling.”

The competition for third place was equally as hard fought. Team Aleph won their first three races of the day to close the gap on Team Nika, but the Russian team steered by owner Vladimir Prosikhin, did enough to take the final podium position. “It’s a fantastic position to finish in, I wanted to do better honestly, but it was great. In the second pre-start I got hit in the head by the boom and lost control and lost the race, I made a few mistakes where we were twice over (the line), once we recovered and once we lost to Synergy, so it was a difficult day. I enjoy the match racing more than the fleet racing, I believe it makes you a better sailor, it’s energetic, the boat handling is more important and it holds a huge value for me.”

The other stand out performance of the day was Nico Poons’ Charisma, who won five out of their seven races. The team joined the circuit in 2014 and will be a force to be reckoned with next season.

Team Aqua head into the final four-days of fleet racing with a one-point lead over second placed Peninsula Petroleum. Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec is a further two-point adrift. The final event of the season cannot be discarded, and the Championship is expected to go down to the wire, as Chris Bake explained “Tomorrow will be competitive we need to keep out head down, sail clean and have fun. “

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RC44 Grand Final Showdown in Oman

Posted on 17 November 2014 by Reporter

[Source:RC44 Class Association] The closing event of the 2015 Championship Tour will play out from the 19th – 23rd of November at the RC44 Oman Cup, Muscat. Hosted by Oman Sail, the season finale promises to be a close one. With both the Match Racing and Fleet Racing titles up for grabs and the top three teams all within touching distance, the big question is can anyone topple Team Aqua, to break their three-year domination.

The RC44 Oman Cup will kick off with a day of match racing, where either the professional tactician or owner can take the helm. The remaining four days will be fleet racing.

Currently leading the fleet racing is three times defending champion, Chris Bake’s Aqua in their familiar spot, but its not all been plain sailing this year for Bake. A sixth place at the RC44 Puerto Sotogrande Cup loosened their iron grip on the leaderboard slightly. Seizing the advantage, home team John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum, took the lead thanks to good teamwork from the crew and tactician Vasco Vascotto.

“The season so far has been great fun. The team have all worked very had and taken a serious step forward. From the bow all the way to just in front of the wheels the talent is awesome. Vasco is a genius which makes big difference, pair that with the hard work they all put in as a team is pretty much it.” explains Bassadone “The points are close but is business as usual. Try to be consistent, fight till the very end and enjoy it as much as possible.”

After a consistent event in tricky conditions at the RC44 Marstrand World Championship in Sweden, Team Aqua are back on top going in to the Oman Cup, holding a slim one-point lead over Peninsula Petroleum. Completing the top three, current World Champion Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team sits three points adrift, having won two regattas this season.

In the Match Racing, Team Aqua holds a slim one-point lead over the fleet. A strong match racing season for Synergy Russian Sailing Team, with America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird at the helm, puts them in second place. Two podium finishes this season for Vladimir Prosikhin ’s Team Nika sees them in third.

Returning to the Arabian port of Muscat for the second consecutive year Oman offers crystal clear water and a prevailing north-easterly wind providing great sailing conditions to end the season. The RC44 Oman Cup will take place over 19 – 23 November, with practice racing on Tuesday 18th November, 14.00 GST.

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2015 RC44 Championship tour dates announced

Posted on 11 September 2014 by Reporter

[Source: RC44 Class] The RC44 Class enters its ninth year with the announcement of two new venues for their 2015 Championship Tour.

A total of five venues next year will see the Class start in its first new location – Valletta, Malta in March ahead of touring some of the finest sailing venues in Europe. This includes a debut for  Porto Cervo, Italy as well as old favorites Marstrand, Sweden and Cascais, Portugal before heading back to the Caribbean to finish the season in the winter sun at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda.

2015 Championship Tour Schedule:

25 – 29 March  – RC44 Valletta Cup, Malta

17 – 21 June – Audi Porto Cervo Cup, Italy

28 July – 1 August – RC44 Marstrand Cup, Sweden

30 September – 4 October – RC44 Cascais World Championship, Portugal

25 – 29 November – RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, British Virgin Islands


RC44 Class founder Russell Coutts comments, “ It’s fantastic to be taking the Tour to two new venues in 2015. The competition in the class is at phenomenal level and having new teams like Charisma, Artemis Racing Youth and Bombarda Racing joining the fleet and attracting first class sailors such as Tom Slingsby, Nathan Outteridge and Francesco de Angelis, is giving the leader board a shake up and allowing for any team to be on the podium for a regatta.”

Kicking off the season and making its debut on to the RC44 circuit is Malta’s renowned capital Valletta, City of the Knights. Built on a peninsula in one of the world’s largest and deepest natural harbours, this historic city on the East coast of Malta will offers the sailors a thrilling start to the season with prevailing westerly breeze of 11-15 knots and racing against the backdrop of the city’s magnificent fortress.

Peter Valentino, on behalf of host Yachting Event’s Ltd added, “It is a privilege to host the RC44 Class in Valletta, renowned for visiting some of the most beautiful and diverse sailing venues in the world.. We know we will offer the sailors a unique sailing environment and  some beautiful conditions for racing.”

The second stop on the Tour will again visit a new venue. The RC44 Class will debut in the debut of iconic Italian sailing haven of Puerto Cervo, as the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda hosts sailing’s elite in the spectacular conditions of Porto Cervo

Continuing their tour of Europe, the RC44 Class will then go on to return to two venues that are firm favourites. The forth event of the season will be hosted for the fifth consecutive year on the Swedish Island of Marstrand, before the RC44 World Championship takes place in the dramatic rolling Atlantic swell of Cascais, Portugal.

To finish off the season, the fleet will then make their winter migration to Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands for the final event of the season in the turquoise waters of the central Caribbean Sea.

2014 – too close to call

The final event of this year’s Championship Tour takes place in Muscat, Oman from the 19 – 23 November. With only three points separating the top three teams, defending Tour champions Team Aqua are trying to ensure they hold off the challenges from Peninsula Petroleum and Bronenosec in the grand finale.

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RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec

Posted on 17 August 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44 Class] After four action packed days of match racing and fleet racing, near gale force winds and substantial breaking waves on the race course caused the concluding races of the 2014 RC44 Marstrand World Championship to be cancelled.

Principal Race Officer Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio explained: “The wind was over our normal limit of 26-28 knots at 2-3m, so at the top of the rigs it would have been 28-30. We were anticipating it dying down, but unfortunately the sea state wouldn’t die with it. So ultimately it was down to the sea state. You know the seas are rough when you have to pick the waves you turn the power boat around in and with occasional 3-3.5m swells there is no way the committee boat would have held.”

After nine races Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team has been crowned the RC44 Marstrand World Champion, finishing six points clear of Nico Poons’ Charisma, in turn four points ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua in third place.

“I am very happy,” said Liubomirov, who is Commodore of the St Petersburg Yacht Club in Russia. “What is very symbolic for me is that my first experience with the RC44 was here in Marstrand one year ago. Michele (Ivaldi) was the coach for our team then, because we didn’t know this boat. This season he has become our tactician and I think this is really his victory, because he is our teacher, along with Cameron Dunn.”

This is Liubomirov’s second World Championship victory in as many weeks, coming to Sweden directly from winning the Gazprom Swan 60 Worlds in Palma last week.

Italian Tactician Michele Ivaldi was especially satisfied with the result as this is his second consecutive RC44 World Championship title having won as tactician for Igor Lah’s Team CEEREF in 2013. “Coming out top on the podium was unexpected, but we worked hard for it and we had the tools to do it. For sure it is great success,” he said.

As to the secret of winning back to back World Championships, he confided: “It’s down to the group. We started with a good group and after the first regatta I suggested some changes, bringing some of the core trimmers from last year, people I have been sailing with for the last two years in the class.” Specifically this was mainsail trimmer Paul Westlake and jib trimmer Maciel Cicchetti. “They are the real engine of the boat. They make the boat so fast, and speed always makes a tactician look smart! So we had good starts all week and being fast upwind we could always make the first shift.”

With three races scheduled today mathematically nine teams still could have won the World title if racing had proceeded. Realistically the competition was down to the top six with 14 points separating Bronenosec from local host Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing, up to sixth place after winning two of yesterday’s races.

34th America’s Cup winning strategist Tom Slingsby, tactician on Nico Poons’ second placed Charisma, felt that Peter Reggio had made the right call. “It is the sea state more than the wind. It is a shame because we were only six points away, plus we feel we are better in the strong conditions, so we were hoping to get out there. It’s disappointing because we finished on a bad race yesterday and we thought we had a chance to get it back today. Personally I wanted to win this one, but as a result for a new team – this is only our third regatta together – to beat Team Aqua and teams like that, who have been at it for a long time, is very good for Nico [Poons] and the team.”

Team Nika’s Vladimir Prosikhin also felt cancelling correct, particularly remembering what had occurred in the marginally better conditions on the final day here last year: “Our boat was taking on water – we had to hide behind the island to bail water out! Today it is quite rough outside and I believe it is the owners’ opinion that it is better to stay safe. We have had an excellent regatta, nothing’s broken, no one has been injured and that is very important.”

Peter Reggio concluded: “We have got nine really fair races in and you really don’t want to screw that up. If they had gone out today it would have been survival. It would not have been racing.”

For Chris Bake, a third place finish at this World Championship, along with a discard coming in for the overall 2014 series, has put his Team Aqua back on top of the leaderboard, reclaiming the coveted ‘golden wheels’ from John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum.

The RC44 Championship continues with its final event of 2014, the RC44 Oman Cup in Muscat over 19-23 November.

RC44 Marstrand World Championship Overall Ranking
(After nine races)

1. Bronenosec Sailing Team 6 9 3 2 1 3 6 4 2 – 36
2. Charisma 4 2 2 8 7 2 4 2 11 – 42
3. Team Aqua 2 4 5 3 5 4 10 10 3 – 46
4. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 3 11 4 10 2 1 3 12 1 – 47
5. Team Nika 1 3 8 5 6 11 2 6 5 – 47
6. Artemis Racing 9 5 6 6 9 7 1 1 6 – 50
7. Katusha 13DNF 7 1 11 3 9 7 7 4 – 62
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge 5 13DNF 11 1 12 10 5 3 8 – 68
9. Bombarda Racing 7 8 10 9 4 5 11 5 9 – 68
10. Artemis Racing Youth 11 6 7 4 10 6 8 11 12 – 75
11. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 8 1 9 12 11 12 9 8 7 – 77
12. MAG Racing 10 10 12 7 8 8 12 9 10 – 86

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